Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Aaron Salzburg - July 24, 1984


And uh, I stayed in that city. The whole group of us stayed there 'til about something like, about four weeks more or less. I was occupied working for the local gendarmerie, doing some carpenter work. As I walked the street down to the, to my work, out of the ghetto--I was privileged I could walk wherever I wanted, but of course I had to do my work. As I walked down the street, a fella by the name of ???, a Polish fella approached me, very happy and half drunk. He said, "Aaron, a friend of yours came back from that transport which was sent away last week." I couldn't believe it, but nevertheless he said, "Come to me, here is my house and you will talk to him." I asked him, "What does he have to say?" That Polack was the happiest man on Earth. He didn't want to say too much. I walked him down to his house. Sure enough a fellow by the name ???--that wasn't his real name, I think it was just a nickname. At this moment I forgot his last name. He was in his young age, maybe eighteen years of age, married. Very fine fellow, a very, very fine fellow. Father was a butcher. He was a butcher. As I got in the house I met him and asked him what happened. He said--the first thing he mentioned, he said, "Recite the Kaddish," which means a prayer for those seized. I couldn't take it. It was unbelievable. This Polish fella kept on laughing and giggling. I still can't figure out how God could create people like that, but that's the fact. I tried talking to ??? to come with me. I told him, "Look"--I spoke to him Jewish, plain Jewish. This Polack speak--spoke better Jewish than I and my friend, but nevertheless ??? said, he doesn't want to go with me because he was afraid that he would be cut down, and I was--I want desperately survive this war, to take a lunge--that's the only thing--my only wish and there after I want to die. He explained how the people were killed, how they were gassed. I told him, "You have two cousins among our people," and "Come with, with me, don't stay here with this Polack." He said he can't do it. Finally I had to give up and I left. I believe after a couple of days he came in to us. And he start to keep himself busy. Since he was a butcher he got right away out and bought a--bought livestock from the local farmers and slaughtered them, and uh, this is how he tried to make a living, and we, of course, needed him very much. However, he did not want to stay with us in our place. When I came back and I told this--our leaders, they could not believe that this was true what he was saying. They called it scares propaganda. I told the president or the head of the Jewish police--or the leader. I told him, this ???, which I recall the name--was the first name of ???. I told Mordechai Wejsblum that this fellow was behind me when they walked down the people, they walked him down to the trains. I remember him well standing with his wife, and his father-in-law, mother-in-law, sisters and brothers. And he walked away, but for some reason they couldn't believe that this was true and that's uh, very peculiar that as late as October the 22nd, we still weren't sure what happened to millions of people.

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